Most people often experience some level of anxiety and uneasiness, when thinking about the future of their relationship, whether that be due to stress arising from a lack of understanding, trust or constant worrying about one’s compatibility. Nevertheless, while some level of relationship anxiety is normal, it becomes an issue when it reaches to a point of severe and extreme stress or results in sabotaging acts that endanger the future of one’s current relationship. Besides, it is important to acknowledge that one feels anxious or uneasy about one’s relationship.
Most importantly, there are certain cues to keep in mind, that can help ensure that your anxiety remains at a manageable level and it doesn’t impact your relationship negatively.
Signs of Unhealthy Relationship Anxiety
Often times, people may toe the line between normal stress and extreme stress, through displays of hypervigilant behaviour, experiencing laziness or fatigue, emotional instability, impaired judgement and inability to concentrate or pay attention. Such a mental state is not only detrimental to one’s health and well-being but also equally damaging to the health of one’s relationship and can spiral out destructive consequences for the existing relationship.
For one, such partners are likely to display behaviours that could put their partners in an unsettling position and cause them to drift apart. For instance, extreme relationship anxiety could cause one to become emotionally distant from their partners, highly suspicious of their activities or become too clingy, all of which may cause the partner to push away.
Moreover, such individuals could become highly engrossed in trying to find clues about their partner’s activities in an attempt to uncover disturbing facts about them or simply to prove them wrong. Following such, they are likely to accuse their partners of behaviours that s/he may not have engaged in and that they have no evidence to prove. Usually, all such behaviours are an attempt to satisfy one’s desire for attachment.
However, it is important to remember, that while such behaviours may cause one to feel less anxious or panicky, it is simply a temporary solution or rather a distraction in the short-term. Conversely, to achieve peace and stability in the long term, one may have to recognize one’s anxiety, look deeper and work to minimize the anxiety. This recognition can be done by identifying the underlying causes that trigger such unhealthy relationship behaviours and attitudes.
The Role of Past Relationships
Sometimes, the answer to our lack of trust, extreme stress and fear of abandonment may lie in our past relationships and the way our brain has encoded them. Although we may choose to phase out certain memories and patterns over time, our brain never really forgets them, even though you may have fallen for someone new. Often the same “love chemicals” that arise at the start of the relationship and that help foster a sense of bonding and stimulate passion amongst partners, could also be the same chemicals that cause one to be emotionally unstable and angsty. This mix of these chemicals, past memories and fears can help explain a person’s current obsessions and unhealthy relationship anxiety.
Overcoming and Moving Beyond
Although identifying the underlying causes for the unhealthy relationship anxiety is rather easy, the more difficult part is working to overcome that anxiety and dedicating oneself to self-improvement by taking hold of one’s thoughts. Remember that your fears are a figment of your imagination, and there’s always a way out!
So, here are 5-ways that you can beat that relationship anxiety:
- Regular Exercise: The best way to curb anxiety and calm your nerves is to hit the gym. The worst thing one could do is shut oneself in a room and becoming physically stagnant. Both these elements are a recipe for disaster and can do no good to one. Exercising and working on oneself can help with bringing things in perspective, gaining increased confidence and motivation. Most importantly, it helps one take their mind off worries at the moment and disrupt the cycle of negativity and negative thoughts that fuel one’s anxiety.
- Re-evaluate your situation- As one progresses in a relationship, there may come a time when such anxiety overpowers the connect between to people and hampers healthy and positive relationship development. At those critical junctures, it is necessary that people take a step back and re-evaluate the relationship situation in its totality, considering one’s fears and anxiety and those of their partners. Such a re-evaluation is necessary for it, helps one realize problem areas, take cues of negative relationship trajectories and overall, bring greater perspective to a person.
- Engaging in Self-Talk: Sometimes it’s not so much about seeking help, but rather peering in. Try to engage in some positive-self talk, think about the good times you shared with your partners, and the good times in your life, in general. Ask yourself, how else could you have judged the situation, what are the alternative responses to such problems and how best could a problem be handled.
- Relaxation: Try to relax regularly, whether that be sipping some chai by your veranda or playing some board game with your partner or even hanging out at your favourite store or place. This could best help you to think clearly about things that may be bothering you or making you feel worked up. It also helps you take control of your current situation and better judge and attend to the problems faced.
- Communicate your Partner: Try to provide a safe space to your partner, where they can communicate and feel at ease with you. You too could use the channel to communicate about things that may be bothering you. Make sure, it’s not space where you judge and accuse but, rather a space to re-connect and reconcile.
- Seek Professional Help: If you feel that your anxiety has shifted into stress that is mentally incapacitating and destructive to your daily life, then it’s beneficial to seek professional counselling.
In the end, the key to overcoming and battling one’s relationship anxiety lies in taking control of one’s emotions and thoughts. One needs to be able to peer inside, understand the unsettled and recognize the depths of one’s feelings and desires. In the end, one needs to re-route negative relationship trajectories by identifying the sources of one’s anxiety, stress and fear.
Remember, relationships are one tough gig, but so are you!